Week four Part II


Last week I really needed a musical outlet.  I've had a lot of input, but it was time to be a musician and put something out.  So I learned En Mi Viejo San Juan from the week before.  I listened to the version Joel said he remembered as a kid and used it as a guide for rhythm and inflection - the trickiest part of singing in another language.  If you put the acCENT on the wrong sylLAble, you'll sound funny.  I brought my accordion in to the school on Friday and played and sang it for Joel in our lesson.  He helped me straighten out a couple things, but for the most part it was pretty close.  Then I sang it for all the teachers and students on our break, maybe 15-20 people.  It was great.  It's known as the 2nd national anthem of Puerto Rico, so all the teachers and staff knew the words.  There are a couple call and response lines in the chorus and they all chimed in right on cue.

Is it ego?  Probably somewhat, but it felt really good to get to do what I'm put here to do as a musician - create community moments.  And there were multiple communities getting something out of it.  The Puerto Ricans got to sing along to one of their beloved songs, and the foreigners got to see it.  I was filled up to the brim.  Then Marcos and I jammed a little on Caravan.  Dessert.

I've got my first piano lesson with Luis Marin at the Conservatorio de Musica de Puerto Rico on the calendar for Feb. 7, a week from Friday.  The timing's perfect.  I'll be settled in the new pad and should have made contact with the little conservatory and seen my practice room by then.  Luis asked if I wanted to assist him on a big gig he's playing on the 8th.  I don't really know what that means, but I said yes, of course. 

So, tomorrow I'll have my first pandero lesson (and Spanish!) with Marcos.  Thursday and Friday I'll move into the apartment.  Friday I say goodbye to the little Spanish school, though if I can afford it I would like to come back occasionally for some Spanish tune-ups.  We'll see.  (YouTube and Plaza Sesamo is a great surrogate.  Look it up.)

Next week life begins anew in Viejo San Juan...a buscar mi querer, a soñor otra vez en mi viejo San Juan...



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